The Galapagos is famous for its variety of unique wildlife, evolved through years of extreme isolation from other habitats. You will find some of the world´s oddest, most unique, most majestic animals in the Galapagos. I loved seeing all the animals, but many that I saw were my favorites simply because they were adorably cute.
The famous finches of the Galapagos are fascinating for their many different adaptations to the environment and beak size and shape, but on top of that, they look mostly like tiny hopping balls of fluff. We found them everywhere, amongst the trees hiking Sierra Negra on Isabela, in the dock at Puerto Ayora, and even stealing crumbs off the dining room table.
Marine lizards piled on the deck
I do not normally think of any reptilians as cute. But there is something very appealing about the way the pile on top of each other, as if they are cuddling
We had already been to the highlands of Santa Cruz island to see the giant tortoises in the wild. They were amazing and majestic. So I wasn´t thrilled at the idea of seeing more tortoises in captivity at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Puerto Ayora, But when I arrived I quickly changed my mind at the sight of tiny, palm-sized baby tortoises munching on some salad greens. OK, perhaps any baby animal is cute, but these were especially precious knowing that they will eventually grow to be giant, and perhaps 100 years old.
We headed out for the famous Tintoreras Bay tour on Isabela, which included snorkeling with sea lions, walking over craggy volcano rock formations littered with marine lizards, and seeing sharks resting in the cove. Our tour guide had told us we might see penguins, but we were already motoring back inland after the tour, when all of the sudden everyone rushed over to the side of the boat, cameras in hand. And lo and behold, there he was on the rocks – small, fluffy, with stubby legs and a tuxedo suit.
Baby sea lions nursing
The day I arrived at our hotel, Aventura lodge, I wandered outside my room to the gazebo overlooking the sea. I was absolutely amazed to find Mama sea lion nursing her pup. They were snuggled against eachother, enjoying the sun, the cool sea breeze and the view of the bay. I later realized that even though the adults are bigger, their playful antics swimming in the water make them equally adorable.